ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – There’s concern drilling and fracking could soon be happening in Arapahoe County after the group Conservation Colorado released maps showing the oil and gas leases filed in the last five years.
Conservation Colorado says information is power. They say 30 schools sit on top of mineral rights owned by oil and gas companies, while another 11 schools are on leases filed in 2010 or later.
Dawn Mortimer said she concerned about the red and yellow squares on the maps because they show the potential for oil and gas drilling in Arapahoe County. Her Aurora home is smack dab in the middle of it all, and she’s frustrated.
“Very frustrated and anxious, because once it actually starts we won’t have any say in the matter,” Mortimer said.
Conservation Colorado created the maps using public data. They believe people deserve to know what could happen near their homes and schools by showing the leases owned by oil and gas operators.
“When a rig is going in 750 feet from someone’s home, going in close to the neighborhood elementary school, that’s going to set up conflict,” Pete Maysmith with Conservation Colorado said. “We’ve seen it play out in Colorado, and the fear is were going to see more of it.”
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The map doesn’t represent actual drilling, according to Maysmith. In fact, many areas may never see a drilling operation, but he wants to highlight the potential.
“We need to know what at least the potential is for oil and gas drilling,” he said.
Maysmith says challenges for people living near drilling operations include noise, midnight flares, chemical smells and semis near neighborhood streets.
Colorado for Responsible Energy Development reminds people that Colorado is among the states with the most stringent setback requirements. Well locations have to be at least 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from buildings such as hospitals and schools.